Cover photo for Laura Burch's Obituary
2019 Laura 2019

Laura Burch

August 15, 2019 — August 10, 2019

Laura Emma Burch, age 87 years formerly of Niles, Michigan died unexpectedly on Saturday, August 10, 2019 at Vidant Medical Center in Greenville, North Carolina near her home in Goldsboro following a brief illness.

She was born on November 27, 1931 in Oil Springs, Ontario, Canada to William L. and Rhea B. (Smith) Gauld.  In the early 1950’s she moved from Sarnia, Ontario to Flint, Michigan where she was employed by the Michigan Bell telephone company for a few years.

On April 30, 1955 in Flint she married James Amil Burch, and moved with him to southwest Michigan.  Mr. Burch was ordained by the Forest Avenue Baptist Church in Mishawaka, Indiana, and became the Pastor of the Wildwood Baptist Church in Buchanan, Michigan.  Laura became a naturalized citizen of the United States of America on April 7, 1964.

She enjoyed being a Pastor’s Wife, and following his retirement they joined the Huntly Memorial Baptist Church in Niles.  Later, they joined the Emmanuel Baptist Bible Church in Niles, and she was currently a member of Hope Community Church in Niles.  She had also been very active at the Niles Senior Center, especially at the card table with the euchre club with whom she played competitively in area tournaments.  She enjoyed maintaining her flower beds at home and the vegetable gardens.  Having a very social personality, she became active at the Senior Center in Goldsboro, and enjoyed its program for camping for seniors.

Laura and her husband, The Rev. James A. Burch, Sr. celebrated the remarkable fifty-fifth anniversary of their wedding prior to his death on May 20, 2010.  She was also preceded in death by an infant great-grandson, James Tyler Aycocke in 2018, and by ten siblings.

Surviving family includes her children, Tim (& Debbie) Burch, U.S.Navy, Ret’d of Goldsboro, Mary Burch of Niles, Melinda (& Dan) Gebhardt of Niles, Carol Burch of South Bend, and James (& Gloria Jean) Burch, Jr. of Saint Joseph, Michigan; nineteen grandchildren, twenty great-grandchildren; and Laura’s sisters, Shirley Kelly and Harriet Frances, both of Canada, many nieces and nephews, and a special friend in Goldsboro, Doug.

The funeral service for Laura E. Burch will be at 11:00 a.m. on Monday, August 19, 2019 at Hope Community Church, 2390 Lake Street in Niles with Pastor Bradley Heiple officiating.  Committal will follow at Mission Hills.

The family will receive relatives and friends on Sunday at the Halbritter-Wickens Funeral Home, 615 East Main Street in Niles from 2:00 p.m. until 4:00 p.m.  Contributions in memory of Laura may be made to Hope Community Church.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Laura Burch, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Sunday, August 18, 2019

2:00 - 4:00 pm (Eastern time)

Halbritter Wickens Funeral Home

615 E Main St, Niles, MI 49120

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Funeral Service

Monday, August 19, 2019

Starts at 11:00 am (Eastern time)

Hope Community Church

2390 Lake St, Niles, MI 49120

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Monday, August 19, 2019

Starts at 12:15 pm (Eastern time)

Mission Hills Memorial Gardens

61453 M-51, Niles, MI 49120

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